Come Over to My House {On Being Real}

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“Where ever you go you will hear someone say, come over to my house, come over and play.” 

Come Over to My House” (#affiliate) was a favourite book of mine that my Grandma Burnett would read me as a child. If you haven’t read it I suggest finding a copy. I wish you could pop out of the other side of the screen so we could chat for a while. I’d pour you a cup or tea (or coffee if you prefer) and let you get to know the real me.

Sometime it is so easy to paint a pretty picture for you to read on the other side of the screen. We bloggers have the ability to let you see as much or as little of the real us as we want. Sometimes it seems like we have it all together, have the most beautiful kitchens, top of the line appliances, perfect kids…. you get the idea. The truth is we don’t (big shocker I know). We’re just ordinary people living life.

I think there are times when I tend to paint a picture just because it makes life easier online. Explaining real life at times is a bit complicated but that’s the beauty of life. So since you can’t pop through that screen why don’t you pour yourself a drink and join me for bit. 

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1. I Live in Mexico

I don’t think that one is a big shocker, but maybe you didn’t know so I’ll tell you anyway. No it’s not sunny 24/7, 365 days a year. I do live in the Valle de Guadelupe, which is the Mediterranean of Mexico. We’re know for our wines and the new trending “Baja Med” style of cooking. I’m a missionary at a boarding school.

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2. I’m not married but have 39 Daughters

So that’s a lot of kids for being almost 29… You see I’m a dorm mom. I have been caring for a gaggle of girls since I was 20. I love them like my own but they aren’t truly mine, I have to give them back to their real families every summer. 9 months out of the year I get to keep them and then find myself awkwardly childless for 3 months. 

Some might call it the “ideal thing”, I call it difficult, a bit upsetting and stressful. I love my girls, some of them go back to so-so homes, I hate sending them home but they aren’t mine. There is the perk of traveling in the summer to see friends and family…I also love routine, being “homeless” for 3 months is not my cup of tea but who wants to stay in an empty building in the 110 plus degree heat by themselves? 

I love them dearly but this is a school, I’m no the boss. I don’t make the final say, I’m not the real parent. Which means if their mom want them on meds that I know aren’t necessary and can be harmful I don’t get to make that call.

I do get the privilege of introducing my girls to herbs and such for daily life and colds. They know that sugar and white flour lowers their immune systems. They know that cramp tincture, tea and rice bags are life savers. They know that yogurt, hibiscus and no sugars/wheat help them get over yeast infections. 

My smart hijas have their dorm mama’s affinity for all things chocolate and peppermint. They harvest pineapple weed, olive leaves and plantain like nobodies business. They are always ready for a cup of tea with a scone. Impromptu tea parties are the best. 

I used to be able to pull out the phrase, “One for every year”. Yup, that ended at age 21 or so…. 

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3. I don’t have a “normal” house

We do have a cozy home but it’s one room. Yup one big open room. Depending on the year there can be 11 to 20 of us. We sleep, hang out, play, do homework all in the same place. It’s not really that bad. It’s easier to keep an eye on everyone unless they head outside. We hike up the hill to a laundry room that is shared with at least 30 other people. Thankfully we do have indoor plumbing with hot water. Sadly I don’t get to cook for them all the time. Which brings me to #4.

4. I don’t have a “real” kitchen

 No my little place has no real kitchen just a scattered make shift one of sorts. Everyone eats in the dinning hall, I bring my meals with me. It’s pretty amazing what you can cook with just a little space; think crock pots, electric kettle and toaster oven. As soon a I can find some fast internet I will be posting a kitchen tour video. My girls do get to eat lots of nourishing snacks and drinks, they were awesome taste testers when I was writting Steeped

5. My girls are deaf

The boarding school where we live is a free Christian home and school for Deaf children ages 4 to 19. Sign language is not international. We use Mexican Sign Language but we used to use American Sign Language (long story, email me if you really want to know). Every day is a mixture of MSL, English and Spanish, with a little ASL thrown in the mix. Another shocker, deaf kids ARE NOT QUIET! In fact, it the opposite half the time. They have to learn that things make noise, think slamming doors, knitting needles….. I love them the Deaf are AMAZING and singed languages are so cool. 

Will I stay here forever? No, I’m taking it one day at a time, living  simply by God’s grace till he calls me else where. Do I love it? Yes, these”hijas” of mine mean the world to me. 

Thank you for “stopping” by! Blessings to you today!

 


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About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is a dorm “mama” to a gaggle of amazing girls ages 10 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She believes that life was meant to be lived barefoot with lots of open space to roam and play. Katie is passionate about nourishing food, herbs and simple living. She can often be found with a cup of tea or coffee and a piece of dark chocolate while she writing, reading and living life.