Saturday, June 11, 2011

So April Came and Went

Since trying to excuse my long lapses without blogging seems to be the way that I start each post, I am going to treat you all with another excuse. This time it may be relatively understood and accepted, but only by a minuscule degree (if even that).
You see, we currently have no internet. This is because we are not living in the guest house anymore. Yes, that is right. We moved. No, not to the house we are planning on ending up in, but moved none-the-less. More on the move in the next post. First…what about the month of April?
Yes, you are right to ask. April proved to be very interesting for us. We left for the states and the wedding of Abe and Julie Habegger on April 1st. That was a Friday. We rushed to Ft. Wayne for pictures, back to Milford for the wedding and then I was on a plane at 1:00 AM Monday morning on my way back to Mexico while my beautiful wife stayed behind with her family. Yes, two whole weeks, Bev and I were separated. It was a long couple of weeks. Thankfully we have Skype and were able to talk a lot. I kept busy and the two weeks were soon over.
By the way, Abe and Julie’s wedding was great. I am honored to be Julie’s cousin and a close enough friend of Abe, an import to Milford from Bluffton, to be included in the wedding party. It was fun to see so much of the family and so many old friends. We are super excited for the great things that Abe and Julie will do as a couple and that we get to be their friends.
Anyway, the two weeks ended and I got back on a plane for Chicago. Spring Break finally came to Mexico so, naturally, we spent it in the states. Mexico always gives two weeks off for Spring Break, the weeks before and after Easter, so most of the first week we spent with Mom and Dad Beer who were watching my little cousins. So we filled the time with all kinds of exciting activities. Thursday we headed to Ohio for some Schlatter family time. To top off the day, my sister Angie had a little baby boy, Jace David, and on Friday morning we made a quick trip back to Ft. Wayne to see Mark, Angie, and little Jace.

Here are the Murray cousins. We had a lot of fun with them and they had a lot of energy.

Jace David. You really can't see him very well, but I can't wait to get back in July and get my hands on him again. I am sure he is growing fast.
That was when Spring Break really started. After seeing Jace, we made the trek up to Toledo to meet up with Kent to head down to Florida with Mark, Missy and family. We almost drove through a tornado somewhere in Kentucky, but the trip otherwise went very well and we drove out of the cold nasty Midwest weather into the warm Sunshine State. We spent a week relaxing in Orlando before catching a plane back to Mexico on April 30th. Yep, the last day of April. That was the month of April. It was super exciting and fun. More later on the house and the last eye clinic.

Here is the spring break crew (except for Mark and Missy, of course. I don't know how they got out of getting their picture on here. Some other time, like when they come to visit us, right?).

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Update-ote

That's Spanglish for a huge update. Yeah. I wish I was self-disciplined enough to not have to start every post with some apology for not having posted.

So way back in March, yeah, March, Bryan Stoller and company were here. This included Bryan, his wife Kara and their three kids, Corey and Beth Steffen and their six kids, and Hannah Zimmerman. It was a crowd and they all stayed here in the guest house with Bev and I. It was a tight fit, but we all got on fine. Life was definitely a lot more interesting that week.

Someone turned 40 while they were here, but I won't say who....
We went out for tacos one night at a little stand on the street. Yeah, all 16 of us crowded around poor Luis and asked for 40-some tacos. He's was more than happy to serve us.

Bryan ran an eye clinic to give out eye glasses. He met with several hundred people over the four days that he worked. He was a very busy man. The girls that came down helped him out with the work that needed to be done in the clinic. That consisted of testing everyone on the wall chart and actually giving out the glasses. Everything seemed to go quite smoothly and we even were able to send over all the kids in the elementary for a quick exam. A couple of them came back proudly wearing new glasses.

This is apparently what the girls did helping Bryan all week. Looks pretty tough to me.

Oh, wait, here's the wall chart. It had pictures instead of letters for all the people who don't know how to read.

Here is the room where they gave out the glasses. You can see all the glasses around the side of the room. There are thousands of them. If anyone has used glasses that are no longer in use, you can send them to Bryan for the eye clinic here in Ixtlan. His address is in the Silver Lining.

Meanwhile, Corey set up the new computer lab for the school. The boys and I were the lucky ones to help him. We now have 15 brand new computers in the school and are thankful that we will be able to give computer classes next year as well. I won't say that the set up went without glitches, but everything is now pretty much ready to go.

Corey and Beth with the wonderful new computers. Computer classes will start next year and the kids are very excited.

I can't forget about the most valuable people of the week Kara, Beth (and sometimes my very own wife - when she wasn't helping at the clinic). They were the ones that kept us fed. Obviously the most important job of them all. We ate very well all week thanks to their work.

Here is Kara with some of the girls at the market doing her job for the week. Looks like fresh pineapple was on the menu.

Saturday we took a little break in the morning and gave the group a chance to get away for a little while. We made a quick trip to the market in Zamora and managed to get a good cultural experience in, even if we missed the ever elusive chorros. We then headed out to Lake Camecuaro for a little bit of relaxation. The lake is fed by natural springs and is crystal-clear and very cold. We snacked and walked around a bit before we headed back to Ixtlan for lunch and a little more work.

Here is a shot at the market in Zamora. That's zucchini, chayote (a type of squash) and onions in the very front.

The market isn't all fresh produce and pig heads, just ask these girls. They were taking one big whiff of the pleasant aroma before going through the fish market.

Here we are at the beautiful Lake Camecuaro.

The crew left on Monday morning, crammed into the big green van. Thankfully, Beth took a lot of pictures which we copied onto our computer before they left, so we can actually give you some good pictures this time. Thank you, Beth!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pig Heads for Anita

Anita had asked that we bring her a pig head, but we got held up a little in customs coming up to the states. Something about contamination, but by the looks of their faces, I think they were just plain disgusted.

Okay. So we didn't even try, but for Anita's sake, here is another reminder of the wonderful Mexican delicacy (which I have never tried).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Guest post (a revision of ANITA, KENT AND GINA)

Written by anonymous. (Unless by sheer luck you can figure out who wrote it. I will give one clue. It starts with A and ends with an NITA.) See previous post for a picture.

It was an eventful week, to say the least. We were very fortunate to have Bev’s brother and sister, Kent and Anita, and their cousin, Gina, delight us with their presence. Our lovely visitors didn’t waste any time getting down here to the warmth, arriving in Guadalajara a little after 8 am. Bev and I decided to treat them to burritos on the drive back to Ixtlan. It’s not a bad breakfast, let me tell you. Kent was bold and tried the lengua en salsa verde (tongue in green sauce) while Gina and Anita played it safe with pollo (chicken). Anita ended up being incredibly brave as her second burrito was some funny-looking chicken that was actually tongue. “It was interesting,” she lauded when asked how it tasted. “I wouldn’t eat it every day, but it wasn’t too bad. It looks much worse than it tastes.” Once we arrived back in Ixtlan, Bev was showered with gifts from the states. The gifts included cream of chicken soup, peanut butter, chocolate chips, some personal items, yarn, and a quilt that her mom sent. Needless to say, the suitcases were much lighter on the trip home. But Bev was very appreciative of her newly-acquired wealth.

After giving the visitors a chance to unpack, freshen up and change clothes (the matching BevRegg shirts needed to go), we headed out with others from church to Samuel and Maria’s property for a true Mexican lunch. It was delicious food and a quite enjoyable afternoon. We had youth group that evening which included volleyball before the Bible study. A fun time was had by all. Many of the girls couldn’t believe how much Michael had changed since last year, as they mistook Kent for his younger brother. Kent also acquired the nickname “no puedo” from Alejandro. That one may stick around for awhile. Gina’s height was mentioned frequently as she tended to look down on everyone else. Anita was glad to be able to sing in Spanish again, but not so thrilled about volleyball bruises. All in all, it was a great first day for the visitors and just a preview of all the good times yet to come.

The most popular event of the week was evening conversations held on the kitchen counters, the most logical place to hang out. There was much laughter and good-humored teasing, or at least they tell me it is only teasing. I have learned from my short time in the Schlatter family that understanding what is going on or being said is not required, just laugh when everyone else is and don’t be afraid to dish it out. They tell me that I’m fitting in nicely.

According to the visitors, it was a very relaxing week. I still had to work all week, but it worked out well. A lot of books were read and games of pinochle played. We all learned interesting, not so accurate facts about how to treat goiters, snakebites and other infirmities. Anybody have some buzzard brains on hand? Anita made sure we went to the plaza for tacos at least once. She frequently inquires as to why we don’t go more often when the tacos are so fantastic. We were able to climb La Mula on Friday and despite continual jabs about me getting more thorns in my head, we made it up and down without any mishaps.

Saturday morning was rough, as the three visitors packed up to go home. Their flight left at noon, so we hit the road early. I personally was quite distraught at the thought of their departure. No more comments about soccer players or uncanny strength, at least not in person. Thank goodness for skype! It was hard to say goodbye, but we hope to see them all soon during my spring break in April. Thank you all for gracing us with your presence!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Anita, Kent and Gina...

I don't have to say anything else.

They were the next visitors. They came in on Saturday the 5th of March and left a week later on the 12th. So it was a busy week. It started immediately after they got here on Saturday. Samuel and Maria, an older couple in church had invited the church over to some of their property to have lunch. So a group of us, including Anita, Kent and Gina, headed over and enjoyed some good Mexican cooking. We had carne asada, tripa, nopales, chorizo, grilled onions, beans, tortillas, rice. It was some good stuff. So they started the visit off right. Later we managed to do all the normal stuff. Tacos in the evening (didn't work so hot when we went to get them on Ash Wednesday), ice cream, trips to the market (both in Ixtlan and in Zamora), and eventually even the good ol' climb up La Mula, the mountain that we always climb close by. Besides that everyone had a lovely opportunity to enjoy the warm/hot weather and relax a little bit. I (Regg) had to keep on working, but that worked out alright. Bev was able to try out Mexican driving for the first time and survived the trip to Zamora and back just fine. So, it was a very successful week. So then they left and we had some peace and quiet before the next group of visitors. The big event during that time was another school parade. I managed to get a ton of confetti dumped on me while I helped the kids. It was a little better than some of the others. It wasn't as long and the kids did pretty well. It's just hot and a lot of standing and walking around. But it was finally over and I was left picking confetti off my clothes. (Some of the colors stain, as we discovered from the last parade.) Well, I guess that is enough for this time. In the next post, the Eye Clinic.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Visitors

I first have to apologize for making everyone wait a month for the next post. I would say that we have been super busy and didn't get time to do with all the visitors, but that wouldn't be truthful. I just haven't posted. So, I will try to fill you all in on what has been going on. It may take a couple of posts, but we'll get it done.

Mom and Dad Beer visit. At the end of February, Mom and Dad came down for a long weekend. It was really nice to have them around and we really enjoyed the weekend. They came in on Thursday and we stopped for burritos on the way home, which made Mom's night, I think. Friday morning we went to the market in Zamora. It is much bigger than the one here in Ixtlan and gives you a much better cultural experience. We didn't buy much besides candy, but you can pretty much find it all there. Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, clothes, souvenirs, kitchen utensils, sombreros, you name it and there is a pretty good chance you can find it (yep, even pig heads). Friday evening and Saturday morning I had Mom and Dad practice with some of my students. It is always good for them to hear a different voice and put some of what they are learning into practice. The rest of the time that they were here was pretty normal. We took them back to the airport on Tuesday morning and still made it home in time for class.
Here they are. This is Rosa with Mom, Bev, Dad, and Rosa and Alejandro's little boy Isai (translated - Jesse).

So, that finished up the weekend with Mom and Dad Beer. We then began to look forward to the next group of visitors which arrived on the next Saturday. More about them in the next post. For right now, we just ask for prayers in the next week as we will be having an eye clinic here. It will make for a busy week and we want to be able to serve the people here with the love of Christ and let His work shine forth in our lives. Pray for His presence during the week and that hearts would be touched by His love. We will probably hand out somewhere around 200 pairs of glasses. We will see what the week brings. The clinic will begin on Wednesday and go through Thursday.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thorn to the Head

It was a very normal week here. Something that hasn't happened for a while. Jeff left on Monday and we regrouped from having visitors for the previous 3 weeks. We have just enough time to get back into the routine of things before the next round of visitors, which starts on Thursday. More information on who those visitors are when that happens. (We've got to keep some suspense here...)

I thought I would share a little story from our hike up La Mula, the mountain, last Friday (and hence the name of the post). We had made it up the mountain fine, had spent some time enjoying the weather and view from the top, and were on our way back down when I, Regg, stumbled. Now before you go forming ideas or comments about how clumsy I am, please take into account the fact that the trail is actually pretty bad and that when it gets dry here, all the stones loosen up and the dirt gets all worked up so that in some places there is no other option than to ski a couple of feet with each step. So, as the story goes, I stumble and veer off to the left of the trail in a desperate attempt to regain my balance, crash into some branches of some sort of woody vegetation, juke to the right with a little spin move to escape the branches, almost wipe out on the right side of the trail, and finally get my feet to catch up with my body. I survived the stumble while remaining on my feet even.

I was feeling good except for what felt like a scratch across my forehead. I reach up to feel it and found a piece of wood. It didn't just wipe off so I figured I had a bigger problem and turned to my back-up crew. Well, to make a long story short, it wasn't just a piece of wood. It was a thorn about 1 cm long stuck straight into my head. I think my skull stopped it. After a bit of work, my medics, specifically, Bev, pulled it out, and we were on our way again.

That was the big news of the hike.

All that we've heard on the house is that it will be longer still and that even then, who knows. For those who feel out of the loop, the people who are now renting the house that we plan to rent are not yet out. They are building their own house and are trying to get everything finished before they move in. That means that what was originally a Christmas/January move in date was pushed back to February, which was pushed back to maybe March or April. We don't really know and now are thinking about checking out some other options. We don't really know what exactly will happen at this point. So keep praying for our patience in the waiting. We appreciate all the prayers as we continue to adjust to everything down here and where our lives are heading as we move on.
We hope that all is going well up there and the weather is warming up some. We're hoping that it is nice and warm when we are up there in April.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Yeah, I know. It has been about a week and a half since posting. We have been somewhat busy and somewhat lazy in regard to posting. But enough of that, you want to know what has been happening. Well.

First, last Monday was an official holiday. So without school, we headed back to Guadalajara Sunday night with Christy Stoller. We then spent the day Monday in Guadalajara. Sunday night we went to Walmart and then out to eat at this little Italian pizza place. Strangely enough, they were playing the Super Bowl there. It was an interesting mix of cultures, truly a Mexican-Italian-American evening. Whatever that really is.

On Monday we went downtown. There is a large market there and we walked around there for a while before we got some ice cream and sat relaxing and watching the crowds in a small plaza downtown. Feeding the pigeons was incredibly popular that day and all the little kids in the area entertained themselves running through the birds and scaring them away. Except for the boy that was apparently trying to catch one with his sister's bright pink coat. He couldn't do it.

We then went back to Los Colomos, a park near Christy's apartment. We took along lunch and ate there. It was a really nice and relaxing park. We walked and walked and walked and then we decided to walk a 5k running path. We were well walked out by the time Bev and I got back on the bus to head to Ixtlan. It was a nice day and it felt good to be away for a bit.

In other news, Tim and Lynette Bahler left on Wednesday, so we are eight people less in the guest house. They finished up their visit by arriving in time for about the coldest weather yet this winter up in Indiana. My brother Jeff arrived Wednesday morning in Guadalajara and came back with Marshall. He will be here until Monday morning and then he hopes to go up to Aguascalientes, a state about 3-4 hours away, to visit a friend Cecilio for a couple of days before going home. It has been nice having him here and we even got in the traditional hike up La Mula, a nearby mountain, already today. Who knows what we will be up to tomorrow, but time sure goes fast.

No news on the house we will be renting yet, but hopefully we will be hearing soon!?!?!?

The weather is starting to warm up a little down here and we are gearing up for the hot season. Hopefully we can send a little of the warmth your way.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The first of the visitors

Hello from the sunny south to all of you stuck in that awful snow!!

I am at least sitting down to write this blog a couple of days before it is time to write the next one. Bev and I are recuperated after our first visitors of our very own. It was a fast long weekend, but it was great!!

Our first visitors were my sister Angie, her husband Mark, and another one of my sisters, Jodi (who lives in Magdalena, Mexico). They arrived on Thursday and left early Monday morning. Jodi got to Guadalajara at about 2:30 Thursday so Bev and I headed off after lunch and we met Jodi there at about 5:00. Mark and Angie didn't get in until 9:00, so we had time to sit and chat before Mark and Angie arrived and we headed off to the famous burrito restaurant just down the road. Nothing like burritos at 10:00 at night to start the visit off right. We got home at about 12:00 and enjoyed a free morning to relax. It was a nice weekend and we really enjoyed the time that we had together. Jodi left at 6:30 on Monday morning so we packed up and left Ixtlan at about 3:00 in the morning. So, after a fast, long weekend, I took a two and a half hour nap on Monday afternoon.

Here's the happy group. (Bev, Regg, Mark, Angie, Jodi)

In the meantime, we are sharing the guest house with Tim and Lynette Bahler (Lynette is Jan and Marshall's daughter) and family. So there are 8 extras in the house now as well. They will be here until next Wednesday (the 9th). Thankfully they are very easy to share with.

We haven't heard anything about the house yet. The most recent update, when we got back from the US in the beginning of January, was that it would be open in February, so we are waiting to hear that we can move in. It could be anytime, yet we don't want to get too excited because it could still wind up being awhile. We'll keep you all posted when we hear more.

Keep warm digging out up there and we'll see if we can't send you some of the nice warm sun we have down here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Returning the favor

So, we received another 8 Christmas cards since the last post. That was exciting. We also realized that we haven't discovered where we hid at least two others for the trip back to MX. So that bumps the number up to 10 more for a total of 40 cards. Thanks!!!

I also want to put a disclaimer on here. We are not keeping track of who has and hasn't sent us a card, so I don't want anyone feeling bad if they didn't send us a card. We know that you all love us with a card or without. So, don't feel bad (you can always send us one next year :)).

So it is only fair that we 'send' out a Christmas card too, so here you go. You can even print it out and post it on you wall, door, refrigerator, or wherever you post all your Christmas cards. You can make it the wallpaper on your computer or you can just look at it on the blog. I give you complete freedom to do with it whatever you want. We will most likely never ever know what you do. So, no worries.

So, since the last post, not a lot has happened here. I, Regg, am back to teaching. I have my two classes in the elementary (Primaria). They are at 11:50 and 12:40. I also do a recess detention at 10:30 for those who need a little extra encouragement to behave in class. In the evening I have an adult class from 7:30-8:30. There are 6 (maybe 7) people in that class and I generally enjoy that class a lot. I think I am definitely more of a secondary teacher than an Elementary teacher, but I am getting along.

Bev has kept busy with several different things. She is able to fill the day with a number of things. She is a great cook and even lets me help out in the kitchen when I come back from class. She spends a lot of time on the piano/keyboard, especially now that she can record herself (Thanks, Warren, for the tip on Audacity). She is working on her share of 'Thank You's" a lot more diligently than I am working on mine. And I can't forget her love of the word game "Every word". She got a new high score yesterday. Next time I may have to interview her about some of this stuff.

In other news. I was going to put breakfast in the oven a half hour ago but I kinda forgot about it after I lit the oven, so breakfast is going to be a little later than was planned. Oh, well. What are you going to do?

Much love to all! Until next week, adios!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

We were home for Christmas...

First of all, formal apologies to all.  We have been home over a week now and haven't updated the blog.  I am sure that half the blog-stalkers who were stalking us have gone by now and won't check the blog again for a couple of months.  Anyway, we are now beginning again with this blogging thing and since my better half thinks I am the better half for blogging, you all get to read my thoughts on this thing (me being Regg for those still curious).

Update on the Christmas Card Count:
First a note on the number.  Apparently I didn't do a very good job getting the address out before I was married because the number of cards received has gone up exponentially.  We are currently at...wait I have to go count them....22!!!  Wow!!! It is great to hear from you all and we send our love right back at you.  We really appreciate the work that you go to figuring out how much extra postage to put on and where to send it and all.  The extra work makes it all extra special.

Now, you may have been wondering where we have been for the past few weeks.  Well if you want a quick answer, which is the one I suggest (and the one that you will get on this blog), we were all over Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois. (That is not counting all the states - American and Mexico that we were all over during our flights to and from Mexico.  Oh, I gotta put a shout out to the Dallas Internation Airport in here too.  We spent a lovely seven hours there on our way back to Mexico.)  We had a great time with our families and it was great to see so many others.  Thankfully the weather was never too bad while we were up there and it seems that the weather down here in Ixtlan got just a little better while we were gone. 

We are excitedly looking forward to a lively visiting season this year.  We have several people with plans already made to come and visit, but rather than spoil all the fun now, you will all have to check back later to see who comes and when.  I am sure you are all going to agonize over this for the next few months, but at least you will keep coming back (and commenting).

So anyway, now that we are settled back in and over 'pink eye' or whatever it was, we are hoping that we will be into our house sometime in February now.  Yeah, the date was pushed back so now it will be in February.  So, some of our visitors may be helping us move!!!

To top it all off, I now have proof of why my better half is really my better half.  She just found the 8 Christmas cards that we got today (we don't get the mail every day), so our official Christmas Card Count is now up to 30. 

Much love to all until next time!!!!