Wednesday, November 30, 2011

niños with wrinkles

have I ever shared with you
my love for little old
grandmas, and grandpas??? 
its more then a love.
it’s a passion.

have you ever done something and you know its your calling in life?  that was me when I got my certified.nurses.aid.certification in two.thousand.eight.  I worked in two different nursing homes all the way up until I moved across the fence.  I loved every blessed second of it.  yes it came with its challenges but it is totally worth it.

yesterday morning my favorite {durango} grandma came to visit our little school house, under the tree.  I immediately said hello and invited her to sit down.  I asked her if she wanted me to put her to work with some math problems.  she laughed and said that she would if she could see.

that started a ten minute conversation about i'm not sure what.  my spanish isn't all the way up to par, specially my grandma spanish {there's a difference}, but the conversation was something about, God's mercy's that she walks without falling, her dad, a ranch, her fifteen plus siblings...  yes!


i found a little {casa del abuelos} and visit it twice a month with my fiddle.  other then the ranch with the niños...  it's my happy spot!

what are your passions in life?  and what do you do to nurture those passions?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thankfulness {day 7}


I’m thankful for Jesus…


happy thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

thankfulness {day 6}


I am thankful for the heavens and the earth…


{Thus says the LORD,

Heaven is my throne

and the earth is my footstool.}

Isaiah sixty-six



my God is so insanely creative

and I am so in love with Him.

to think that he made the world for his footstool-

I wonder what his couch looks like.



from the huge gigantic ocean 

{that reminds me of the vastness of His love}

and mountains.

to the intricate details of insects

and sand dollars.

all the way down to the micro life

that we can’t even see.

the whole lot of it on His footstool?

yaaa…  I love His creativity.


Monday, November 21, 2011

thankfulness {day 5}


I am thankful for all my supporters…  couldn’t love on these babies without them.


when I made the decision to move to Mexico

I remember the feelings of vulnerability.

leaving my job to move to another country

for a year or more

and depending solely on support from my family and friends

was scary to say the least.

as I sent out my first support letter

I remember thinking

who should I send this to?

what are people going to think?

will they respond? 


I have now been living in Mexico for nine months.

the support and outflow of

prayers, encouraging words, and financial support

have been overwhelming. 

{that includes all my bloggy followers}

I love all your comments

they inspire me to keep writing

and speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves.



you know what???

there are some awesome shopping

in the streets of Ensenada

and I’ve been eyeing some gifts

that I would love to purchase

for my first ever giveaway!

can I hear a shout out for that??? 


but first…

I’m waiting for my number of followers to hit fifty.

that’s only twelve people, people.

so if you are a lurker…  and not a follower…

you should really just press the blue button

and join the ranks.

you know you want to. 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

thankfulness {day 4}


I am thankful for besos…






Friday, November 18, 2011



as I was talking to my slightly, epically, fantastic, seester grace on the phone tonight…  she pointed out a gigantic error in my last post.  I made my flight ten looong days later then it is suppose to be.  haha…  oops…  I did it just to keep people guessing.  NOT. 

December twelfth, my friends.  the twelfth of December is when this Midwestern girl is goin HOME.   

we talked of the things we are going to do when I get back and I can’t help but get a lil more excited with each conversation.

here’s a list of our plans thus far:

  • go Christmas caroling
  • cookie exchange
  • sleepovers every night
  • cuddling
  • sledding
  • help check trap line.  (they caught 2 bobcat this year already.)
  • non stop talking


I would love to hear where you will be spending your holidays…  and the the thrilling adventures you want to go on.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

thankfulness {day 2}

good morning my beautiful friends.

I’m continuing on… in my 7 days of gratitude.

I’m getting really anxious for December 21st to pop up on the calendar…

so I can go home for Christmas.

I have been super homesick so…

today just had to be on {home}.

I am thankful for {home}… and everything that means.

the big, white, house, on the hill…


all the crazies inside.


and the epically good times.







thankfulness {day 1}


its officially the countdown for thanksgiving folks.

and boy do I have a lot to be thankful for.

over the next seven days I want to give you seven things I am thankful for.

thankful for mexico and what it has taught me.





to see the world from a different perspective.

find every excuse to throw a party with lots of friends, dress up, and eat food.  good food.

listen to music...  loud.

simple things bring the most joy.

greet everyone with a kiss.

use my horn.

smile. always. even through freakishly horrible situations.

make do without.

hold things with an open hand.

and appreciate the tiniest things.

Monday, November 14, 2011

you can’t stop storms


this weekend was one of the best.

it came with its challenges but I wouldn’t trade one for 1000 perfect days.

we woke up saturday morning with NO rain and we planned to played hard, outside, doing everything you can’t do inside, until the drops of rain grew too large to dodge.  then move into the empty tent and play indoor games until supper.  we invited the parents of the children for supper and planned on picking them up at 4:30pm.  a campfire would follow supper with lots of singing, marshmallows, and sharing.

lets just say that the first part of the day went off as planned.

three legged soccer


uvas {mexican version of sharks and minnows}


freeze dance  IMG_2187



IMG_2195   IMG_2194

some of you may remember the story about the family with the little boy with leukemia I shared a few weeks back.  if not read about it {here}.  I was so excited to welcome the three little sisters for the first time to {rancho Genesis}.  I peppered them with kisses the whole day.


after lunch we started feeling little drops of water and decided to head into the tent to play table games.

IMG_2220       IMG_2221

IMG_2222       IMG_2217

it was so much fun to see the excitement in the kids faces as they waited outside the tent as we prepared all the games.  you would have thought we just gave them tickets to {Disney Land}.  and then… for a solid hour they played.

I played about one hundred games of uno [not].  I loved every minute of it.  it was very peaceful sitting indian style on the floor, hearing raindrops on the tarp roof over head, jamming out to spanish tunes, and looking around watching the happiness, the love, the relationships forming between two cultures.


during our veggie tales, the rain let loose and the water started leaking {pouring} in at every nook and cranny.  the kitchen had a literal river flowing through it.  the carpets in the tents started to become soaked.  the rain was so loud and hard you had to scream over the noise.


after some quick thinking and a roll of black garbage bags we packed all the niños, volunteers, and food baskets up in two 15 passenger vans and made the long wet trip back to the community.


this is where the pictures ended due to pure crazy-ness.

I was reflecting on two thoughts as I sloshed through 6-12 inches of water this weekend…


rain once again took on a new meaning… it doesn’t just mean a picnic ruined. it means cold babies, sickness, standing water, dirt floors turned into mud floors, and so much more.  the longer I live in Mexico I realize to a deeper extent the other world, outside of mine.


we were prepared for the rain.  we had all our bases covered.  but all the preparation in the world couldn’t stop the storm.  just like the storms of life it’s our job to be ready for them so that the water doesn’t carry us away.  from there it is up to us how we respond to each situation and our choice in our reactions and attitudes.  but the devastating damage that hurts and leaves you exhausted is real.

we dropped all the niños off at their homes, gave away all the food baskets, and prayed for each family.  it was dark by then and the rain still hadn’t let up.  our toes were wet and aching from the cold but no one complained.  as we headed back to the ranch we were all thinking the same thing.  {how can we complain about one disastrous saturday, when for these families this is a reality every time it rains?} 

after supper we found half of a dry tent, put on some coffee and hot chocolate, wrapped up in blankets, worshipped Jesus in song and sharing where we saw Him that day. ending the day in I can’t remember how many games of mafia.

ahhh… good times!

IMG_2234  IMG_2235 

I love fresh new mornings with no storms.


I’d love to hear how this story resonates with you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tweet tweet!



I’m doin’ it… YUP im on twitter.  never thought I’d see the day but…  it’s here folks.!/TiffanyJoyChmel

have a beautiful day…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{preparing for rain}

yes my beautiful friends it’s the rainy season here in Mexico {and when it rains it pours}.  plus with the horrible drainage systems, {or the lack thereof} it makes things ten times worse!

last weekend we had activities at the ranch with these beautiful people.

these niños are some of the original families that Genesis worked with. they use to live in close proximity to the ranch but now many have moved to neighboring towns.  we get the great opportunity of bringing them back to the ranch once a month to play.


despite the fact that it rain up until the wee hours of that morning…  it turned out to be a gorgeous day and we were able to carry on with all our plans.  {thank goodness because we had no backup plan.}

it was a little muddy driving into the ranch on the{mud} road but I’m always looking for a good ‘ol iowa {mudding} experience.  {please someone tell me they know what that is}


this week we have invited 18 niños from {durango} to play at the ranch on Saturday.  it sounds as if a rain storm wants to join in the fun too.  but this time we have out rain or shine plans in place.  we are ultra prepared. 

yesterday afternoon Alex and I moved all of the mattresses and bunks from one of the tent/dorms into another, in order to have a shelter to play all the indoor games we can possibly wrap our little minds around.  {I think we might be crazy.  thinking we can keep that many littles entertained and us sane for 7 hours in one 20x20 tent… whee} 


we pulled all the table games we could possibly get our fingers on.  {candy land, mancala, twister, and uno were defiantly in the mix.}

we bought a 24 pack of microwave popcorn for a movie in the afternoon.  {I smell veggie tales in spanish brewing.  my favorite!}


I was happily, thrilled, {yup} to find a TON of play dough.  {check}

we made sure to go to all measures to make sure that this weekend is a success, rain or shine.  all this preparation made me think about what kinds of lengths I should go to, in order to prepare myself for storms in my life.

now not every storm gives us this much warning.  it’s not like signs drop down from heaven telling you when you’re car is going to break down, that you are going to loose your job, or that a family member is going to be sick.  sometimes those things hit us blindside.  right up side the head and BOOM.  there you are totally unprepared.  what are you going to do…? what am I going to do…?


I think the key {not that I got this all figured out or together…  NOPE} is to obviously get ready before hand by using all the defenses {Jesus} has given us.


10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

13 Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,

I like how it says “…and, having done all to stand.  Stand…”  that simply means all we need to do is prepare, prepare, prepare, and then wait for the rain or the shine.  {simple right?  not!}  but we get the concept and we keep trying to prepare more, standing through rain storms, and always rejoicing in hope. 


in my own heart I feel it’s in a constant state of preparation. 

and for this weekend we are ready…  but stay tuned for lots of stories {I’m sure} of our adventures.