Sunday, January 31, 2010

4th Celebration of Life

After each time Madelyn walked around the "sun", Ms. Mary would stop and talk about her milestone accomplishments for that year...It was so precious!!
Madelyn waiting patiently, but I wanted to include this picture because of the photo Madelyn chose to bring to school. Behind her on the top self to the left is her special picture of Cooper and Madelyn dressed up in their Aggie attire. Everyone in the class brought in their special picture of their family and friends, and Madelyn really wanted to bring in this picture of her best friend.

She was so excited to have us there for Celebration of Life.

"The earth goes 'round the sun"

Madelyn's classmates sang happy birthday to her in sign language.

Enjoying her birthday snack with her friends.
One of the unique aspects of the Montessori experience is the Celebration of Life that remembers and celebrates a child's milestones from each year of their life (and it introduces an early astronomy concept of planet rotation). In Madelyn's classroom its a big deal to have mom and dad come in with yummy healthy snacks and and watch the celebration. We filled out an information sheet ahead of time that listed achievements of Madelyn's from birth until now. Michael and I had fun remembering when certain events occurred, and started to dwell on the fact the fact that our "baby girl" has grown so much right before our eyes. We love her so much and are very proud of everything she has accomplished and can not wait to see how and where the Lord will take her this year.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Isles Mujeres

Isles Mujres in the background. The island was first used a fertility temple for the Mayans, then a pirate hideout and fishing village before Cancun developers built small hotels on the island.
The welcoming committee--The military patrolling the port of Isle Mujers

The Mexican Navy station because the island is the most eastern point of Mexico.

On the catamaran enjoying the beautiful view of the Caribbean.

Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women. Located just eight miles across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is only 5 miles long and half a mile wide with a downtown area of just four by six blocks.
The giant Mexican Flag stood in the middle of Zona del Hoteleria marking the Juarez Porta.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Years Eve in Cancun

Posing with the Spartan Cast

Madelyn had fun dressing up with her "Tiara" and necklaces. The people at our table and next to us gave her the gold bead necklaces for being too cute--man did she milk it!

Madelyn fell asleep at 11:30--She almost made it!

Partying at 12:00....12:05 we were headed back to our room.
We rang in the New Year at the Hotel's dinner, theatre, dancing party. They have an open air pavilion on the beach so it was a fun night and meet a lot of new people at the party. The Mexican tradition for New Year's Good Luck is to eat grapes. So we all left with Champagne and a bag of grapes.

Yucatan, Mexico

Michael described it as the original Mayan Lazy boy

Outside the town of Vallaloid, Yucatan.

The military check point as you left the state of Quintina Roo into the state of Yucatan.

Cemeteries are above ground because of the extensive underground caverns in the area.

The Fiesta Restaurant in the town of Chichen Itza

Our dinner time Entertainment was good, especially at balancing items on the heads.

Maddy taking the stage

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chichen Itza: The Seventh Natural Wonder of the World

The acoustics were amazing in front of the main pyramid. You could stand anywhere in front of the four sides clap and with in seconds a sharp echo of the clap bounced back for everyone around to hear.

This sport court was an early cross over of basketball, baseball and lacrosse. The Mayans actually used a baseball sized rubber ball and large wooden sticks to run the ball up and down the field and try to swat the rubber ball into the small stone hoops on the upper walls of the court. The only catch is the winner is beheaded as a sacrifice to the gods. Only the best was offered sacrifically to their gods.

You could stand at one of the court and in a normal voice talk and the person at the other end could hear you with no problem.

Why did you take a picture of the wall? To show you how advanced the civilization was in construction. The Mayans understood that placement of the size of stones determined echo patterns. Large stones on the bottom and smaller stones on top.

Madelyn was such a trooper in the heat! She really enjoyed Chichen Itza because she knew from watching Dora the Explorer that her mom work in the Pyramids as an archaeologist, so logic prevails that she would she Dora while visiting. She was sad to learn that Dora was out playing Boots in the Jungle.
Probably the funniest thing that Madelyn said on the trip was "Where are all the Mayan Indians today?" Explaining to her that they are the people who live and work here at Chichen Itza, she gave me a very puzzled look and then said "But these people don't have feathers on their heads." All we could do was laugh, because that is the only representation she knows of the Mayans.

Jaguar Temple

One of the two Cenotes that served as a water source for the Mayans.

Old City Ruins

The tour we took to Chichen Itza was about 2 and half hours from Cancun into the Yucatan Peninsula and was described as a spiritual experience. The meaning came true when we got off the van and realized that it was over a 100 degree 100 percent humidity, no breeze and it was a three hour hike. By the end of the tour, I really was saying "Please God help me make it to the end of the tour!" This natural wonder of the world was worth every minute in the sun and was beyond amazing, but after enjoying the 70 degree weather of Cancun it was a rude awaking of the heat that hit you in the face and kept at your heels the entire tour. I know that after living in Texas for hotter summers than this, that a day at Chichen Itza should have been a drop in the bucket, but at least here we have a week or two of semi hot days before the the blazing heat hits us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Candid Cancun Pictures and Margaritaville

In front of our hotel.

Morning Sunrise over the Caribbean Sea

Doing the Chicken Dance

Our little Parrot Head...she flew south for the winter

Dancing with Daddy
Our first night in Cancun, like all good American tourist we were enticed by the flashing lights and music of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. The people they were having a good time and most importantly they were kid friendly. Great food and entertainment comes at a cost and they were very proud of their service. But hey we have some funny memories from that night.