We moved to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on December 31, 2014, and rang in the New Year in our new house in a new country. And 2015 has been a great year!
Jeffrey has adjusted to his new job as the Facility Manager of the largest American consulate in the world. He manages a great team of about thirty locals, comprising of grounds crew, handymen, janitors, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and engineers. Together they keep the Consulate and diplomatic housing in tip top shape! He plays on a basketball team in a local civic league, and he takes tennis lessons three times a week. He is also kept quite busy at church, where he serves as the Young Men’s president, which means he’s the youth leader of the teenage boys, 12 to 18.
Michelle has been much busier than she imagined, and she can imagine quite a lot of busyness! She had no plans of working, but the children’s school offered a part-time position teaching English, and it seemed like a fun opportunity and something that would look good on her resume in the future when she may actually feel like working again, so she took it! She’s been teaching English all year to children ages 3 to 12, preschool through sixth grade. She also is busy with church work; she is the music chair person, choir director, and teaches music to the primary children (also ages 3 to 12). Full disclosure? She’s also surprised by how overwhelming it is to have four children—not to mention children in school and activities.
Jill turned 6 last April. She played soccer for the first time this spring, and she began tennis in the summer and added on gymnastics this fall. She just competed in her first gymnastics tournament, at the beginner level, and had a lot of fun and did very well. It has been a lot of fun to watch her learn Spanish and flourish in her new school. Her favorite subject at school is math, and she loves being able to read and write now. Big moments this year for her were taking the training wheels off of her bicycle and learning how to roller blade.
Daniel turned 4 last January. He also played soccer at the beginning of the year and is currently playing tennis. He may be starting soccer again soon though, because he’s starting to show a lot of interest in it, which his mom is thrilled about. His favorite activity at home is break dancing. He loves his preschool and is just starting to speak Spanish. He went through a delightful stage where he would use what little Spanish he knew and then fill in the rest with English words spoken with his version of a Spanish accent. It was really cute.
Alice turned 2 last February. She’s a little spit fire! At the parent teacher conference at her preschool, her teachers delicately called her a leader, but we know the truth. She’s super bossy and expects to get her way. She’s also very loving and fun to have around. She’s currently in a mimicking stage. She likes to repeat every single thing everyone says, entire conversations word for word immediately following the speakers.
Gordon Philip Collett Boling was born on April 1, 2015, here in Juarez. (Mexican naming laws require the paternal and maternal last names.) Thus far he has been an incredibly chill, easy going baby. He’s crawling all over now and pulling himself up. He loves smiling at everyone. It really has been amazing to have such a happy baby. He receives a lot of love from his older siblings—sometimes too much.
Family highlights were having Mimi’s parents and grandmother and Jeff’s mother visit us in Mexico, making it back to the Midwest for Mimi’s grandfather’s 90th birthday, and going to Houston for Thanksgiving with Mimi’s grandmother and extended family. We have loved eating delicious Mexican food and improving our Spanish. We’re all looking forward to another year in Mexico.
We miss you and love you and hope you have a wonderful 2016!