Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays to Everyone!!

The girls had a great Christmas thanks to the generosity of all our family/supporters. Special thanks to all of you that brought food and the delicious baked goods to Casa de Fe. Santa really enjoyed what little goodies that were not gobbled up by the girls. Ho Ho Ho
We had a very special Christmas gift the Monday before Christmas. Her name is Ronny and she is a tiny little girl, 16 months old. This is her first experience of life outside the Albergue (DIF orphanage) in Mexicali and she is taking it all in with enthusiasm. All of the girls are enthralled with her, especially Amanda since she isn’t the baby anymore.
The girls go back to school next week so the program will go back to somewhat normal. They have been studying while on vacation; each of their teachers gave them a good week’s worth of homework to do, I think to give the parents a good chance to get involved with their education. I must say that the schools here really encourage and sometimes demand that the parents accept responsibility for the kid’s studies.

Please check our needs list as a couple of things have changed with our new baby arriving. Some of you have asked for a revised list since you are coming back from family visits and would like to get some things on your way back. We are humbled by your generosity and thankful to have you in our lives helping the girls we have and the children we will be getting in the future.
We are getting things ready to continue construction on our second home which we are planning to open for boys. We have been asked by the State to do this; then we can accept families of children instead of having to separate siblings since we can only accept girls. We have 2 girls here that have brothers in the system that could live with us when we complete the boy’s home. All in His time.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have A Very Merry Christmas!!

We wanted to let everyone know about our event at Pete’s Camp this Saturday. Norma is putting out a sumptuous feast for all to enjoy and we are looking forward to seeing everyone.
I was told that in our last newsletter there was a challenge getting to the Want & Christmas lists I had mentioned. I am putting a link to our Needs page in this newsletter to let everyone get to it. Just click on NEEDS and take a look. If you are moved please give Carol an email and coordinate with her so everyone gets “bang for their buck”.
We are getting ready for Christmas and school is winding down for the holidays. I have been shown the blessings in our lives so many times this year and cannot tell you how much we appreciate having you all in our lives. We are here every day and are working with the girls as well as working towards finishing our second home for boys, but none of this would be possible without everyone’s help whether it’s financial, helping here with your time or just smiling and saying hi when we see you around town.
We want to wish everyone a blessed Christmas. God Bless You All.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Girls - New Sisters

We’re becoming more Mexican with each day. With handling the schedules of everyone involved we decided to have our Thanksgiving on Sunday afternoon. We had a houseful of friends, family and children and it was a great time for all. It was nice to see the playground full of happy laughing children running around and playing hard. The expansion of our swing set was a good decision, we had someone at every station and kids doing the slide all at the same time. Running the tires was also a big hit.
Our new addition, 7 year old Gabriella Alejandra, is getting right into the swing of things. Luckily for her she is not bashful; she politely lets you know what she thinks and doesn’t let anyone push her around. We are getting her started in the same school as the other girls and she is really anxious to get started. We’re waiting for the records from the other school to arrive so we can complete the process, but patience is something to be cherished here.

We are having a Christmas Brunch at Pete’s Camp on Saturday, December 10th. Norma is planning a sumptuous spread and we’ll be having a silent auction as well. Tickets are $10 and are available at the Swapmeet, Pete’s Camp and various locations around town.

Last week I mentioned that people have asked for a list of things that we need here so they can know what to get instead of guessing. I have put a Needs list as well as a Christmas Wish list on the Needs page of our website. If you want to check it out and then give Carol an email she can coordinate donations to help make things more efficient. We have been very blessed by you all and are always amazed at how the Lord seems to put the right people in front of us at exactly the right time of need.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Now we are 5!!!

This is Amanda showing off her new yoga figure
We have something to be very thankful for this year with our new arrival of Gabriella Alejandra. She is a 7 year old bundle of energy and always has a big smile. She fits right in, is always ready to help and is especially helpful with Amanda and Rosita. We are going through the process of getting her enrolled in school and are lucky that she can go to the same school as the older girls. They are really taking to the new school and it seems to be doing them good; they have just received their grades and are doing about 8.5 ( B+ for people my age) between the 2 of them. We haven’t taken any photos yet to give everyone a chance to get acquainted.
We have been excited to see so many of our friends returning to San Felipe and have been blessed with new friends that have come down and found us. We are always excited to meet new friends in town or at the swap meet at El Dorado on Saturdays. We are there every week.
We have been asked to put up a list of needs for Casa de Fe by many of you to make it easier for you to bring things down without having to guess. I’m going to put this out next week to let people have a chance to see what they can choose from. If you have any questions please feel free to email Carol at casadefecarol@gmail.com and she will get back to you as soon as she can.
We are reminded everyday how blessed we are and are so very thankful for being able to help these girls. Our friends still laugh and tell us we’re crazy and some days I strongly agree with them, but seeing them grow and blossom is absolutely worth it.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and God bless.

Monday, November 7, 2011

We had a great turn out at our 1st year anniversary party at Rumors last Thursday night. With more than 100 people it was a fun time had by all and the band, 2AM, played the whole time with country western music soft enough for people to talk but rockin’ enough to keep it hopping. We had lots of door prizes. Jeannie and the Rumors crew did a great job with the food and drink and we had nothing but compliments for the whole event. Our silent auction was a hit with donations from many business friends in town. A special item was a painting from our good friend Louis Cogley.
Thanks to Connie, Kim and Paula, who stepped in at the last minute to set up and take care of the silent auction and Judi and Vanice who helped at the ticket and raffle table.
We are really getting used to the change in the weather, it’s nice to be able to go outside and enjoy the day. We had a group from Washington visiting San Felipe come for Amanda’s 3rd birthday on Sunday and it was nice to have a group of 10 – 12 kids outside playing on the swings and tires without worrying about the heat and sun. Now is when we know why we live here, the weather is just about perfect.
Perla and Alejandra are getting used to their new school and it is apparent that it is more challenging for them. How many of us learned about pacemakers, cardiac disease and muscular structure in the 3rd grade? They are learning more and their homework is more extensive than the old school. We’re happy with the change even though it is farther to take them to school.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Party in 1 Week

We are letting everyone know about our fundraiser on Nov. 3rd. This is a very important date for us; this is the day our girls arrived at our home last year. Tell all of your friends to come out and help us celebrate our 1st year anniversary and have a good time. We are also having a silent auction and are going to have many cool things available. If anyone has something they would like to donate for the auction please contact us at 686-576-0379 or 619-920-2292.

Thanks everyone for your support! It's going to be a lot of fun.

Monday, October 17, 2011

We're having a Party!!!!

We are having our 1 year anniversary on Nov. 3rd at Rumors Restaurant in Playa De Oro from 5pm to 9pm. We are having music by Denny Flannigan and Jeannie is doing a great dinner for us, angel hair pasta with shrimp and penne pasta with chicken. Tickets are on sale around town and also at our booth at the swapmeet in El Dorado on Saturdays. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there to help us celebrate our first year. Our girls were given to us on Nov. 3rd so this day is especially important to us.

We have been very blessed to have the support of the people in our lives. It never fails to amaze me that when you are at the edge of need that is when God blesses you. Last week with Rafael and the Poker Run came at a great time for us. This week our new friends, Lillian & Steve, came to our door looking for people to help. They had come from San Diego looking to help someone and after asking Padre Efrain at the Catholic Church they were directed here, and it only took them over an hour to find us with the various directions people gave them. Never the less their perseverance was a total blessing for us, they stocked us with food that we were in real need of. We were able to visit with them for a couple of hours and we are looking forward to working together in the future. You never know when an angel will come to your door.

The girls are doing great and we are moving them to a new school to help with their studies. It will be a little longer drive, but how many of us have gone out of their way for their children. They are the most important part of the equation.

See you at the party.

Monday, October 10, 2011

We went to the Poker Run!!

We were invited to the Pete's Camp 32nd Poker Run this year to be presented to the crowd and awarded a generous donation by Rafael Navarro. We want to thank Rafael, he has been a friend for many years and he was very helpful in our getting our water subsidy from the State of Baja. He is tireless in his public works and is a valuable part of San Felipe.
It was fun taking Perla with us to give her an opportunity to see the cars and let her take some pictures with the camera she earned being such a good kid. She has a good eye for art and this gives her a good creative outlet.
Alejandra turned 9 this Sat. She was walking on clouds for the several days prior and was especially good so we would be sure to have a party for her. It was fun having some friends over and we all had a good time.
Thank goodness, SUMMER IS OVER!!!!! It is soo nice to have the good weather we all came here to enjoy. The girls can go out during the day without getting heat stroke and can play for longer than 30 minutes. We are planning our fall planting and garden for melons and vegetables. We have an area set aside for Alejandra and Perla to have their own space to grow plants. We'll see.
The other good thing with the end of summer is that the AC is not on anymore. Those big electric bills are a real killer trying to stay out of the heat. A friend was saying that it was amazing how nice 85* was in your house when it was 105* outside. All things are relative.
Thanks everyone for your help this summer, it seems like just as we needed the help people came through.
Best wishes to Penny Nask, we are praying for you and are anxious for you to get home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday!!!

Rosita turned 5 years old. We had a party with the girls and some friends and everyone had a great time. These are some of the rewards that comes from helping others; seeing a little girl enjoy dressing like a princess, sitting in the “special chair” and being the center of the party, eating lasagna and cake for dinner… None of these girls have had this kind of good attention paid to them. One of the coolest things is having them remind the adults that we needed to pray before we all ate dinner.

The girls are getting more adept at riding their bicycles that were donated by Greg McKinney and the guys in Marin County. Perla was able to ride from the beginning, which is good, but we are very proud of Alejandra. She couldn’t ride her bike to save her life when they first arrived. It was like watching the guy on Laugh-in that fell over riding a tricycle. But day by day she kept at it and now she is riding like a champ. She’s not doing tricks but she rides around the house without stopping and can look at someone and talk while riding without falling.

We are getting ready to man our space at the swap meet on Saturdays in El Dorado. We will be selling baked goods, shirts, COSTCO HOTDOGS, and other things as they become available over the months. We are making an effort to get ourselves out in front of the public to increase our mailing list to Mexicans and Foreigners; we are still meeting people in town who don’t know what we are doing with the orphanage. As always we do not want to bother people by constantly asking for donations, but letting people know what we are doing will make it easier for those who want to help when they can.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good Time Had By All!

We want to thank Cliff and Suzy White for their help in making our breakfast fundraiser a success. Their incredible menu and organized wait staff made the event flow seamlessly and I think everyone had a great time. We also want to thank the most important part of the event, everyone who came and enjoyed themselves and brought their friends and had a good time. We are planning on having an event like this once a month this year at different locations and different times of the week to make it doable for everyone interested. We want to thank Casey and Sandy for their efforts in selling tickets, Penny & Vanice for helping at the entry table and Barbara for doing both. It’s the support from everyone that makes this a success. We raised enough money to cover some bills, pay our indispensible house Tia, Lupita, buy some shoes from the shoe donation box and stock up on some food. It’s all good.

With the help from our Ejido representative Lic. Mariza Villar, our State Diputado Nancy Sanchez and our friend Rafael Navarro, we have obtained a subsidy from the state of Baja to pay our water bill through the end of the year. For us this is a big deal apart from the $50 - $60 dollars a month, this is the first budgetary help we have received from the Mexican government and we appreciate it. We also want to thank everyone who has donated to us this month to help with our electricity bill. As you know, this time of year this becomes our biggest expense and it’s one of those things that are hard to gauge. It is hard to go into the home and see the girls and Lupita melting because they care and are trying to save electricity. These last few weeks it is impossible to not have the A/C on in at least the living room for the day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big Breakfast! Come one, come all.

Big breakfast at Los Arcos restaurant this Sunday, Sept. 4th from 7:30 - 11:30. Tickets are $10 and believe me the menu is going to blow your mind, thanks to Cliff at Los Arcos. We are excited so please tell your friends about this and encourage them to purchase their tickets at Sunrunner Mail or the Lemontree Deli beforehand. If they can't then be assured tickets will be available at the door. Do us a BIG favor and bring everyone you know for a great time. You can come either before or after church so don"t worry about missing anything.

The girls are back in school this week and things are getting back to "normal" again. They are happy to be back with their friends and are getting to know their new teachers. We would like to thank Lorna for her special help this week. Bill is out of town working and she is helping Carol deal with a challenge with our Suburban by transporting the girls to school until he gets back. Without the help of our friends here in San Felipe it would be tough. Her help with the girls, the friends that come on Fridays to do crafts and games with the girls, the friends that think of us and bring clothes from their families in the States: it is a huge blessing to have the support that we receive from you and we thank you.

This has been a slim summer and the help we receive will go a long way. We are looking forward to being able to welcome you all and thank you in person for all of your help.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer is almost Over!!!!!!

We are getting ready for school again. There seems to be some question as to when it starts, but it will be this month. It is time to take the kids to buy new uniforms as they will be going to a different school this year and the uniforms will be not the same. Perla and Alejandra have been doing school work over the summer to improve for the coming school year. Things at the house are good. The girls are acting like a real family now, including the sibling rivalries so prevalent with kids.

We were able to get the girls to the dentist this summer. They had their teeth cleaned and three of them had cavities. With the help of The Baja Good Life Club, the Cuba Gooding Sr. fundraiser and the generosity of Dr. Jason and his wife, we now have four children with, according to Dr. Jason, some of the best teeth in San Felipe. He was surprised how clean their teeth were when they came in for their exams, saying that it was due to their routine at home. We have Lupita to thank for the discipline.

We are planning a fundraiser for the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, Sept.4th, from 7:30 - 11:30 at Los Arcos Restaurant by the arches. If you want tickets please e-mail Carol at casadefecarol@gmail.com . The tickets are $10.00. We are planning more fundraisers this year such as a breakfast or luncheon at the beginning of each month as well as different projects to raise money. If you have any ideas please let us know as we are always open to new possibilities.

Monday, August 8, 2011


It’s been a good summer. The older girls completed their summer program and the kids had a dance and drama show for the parents. They worked very hard at getting the right clothes for the drama “Profesor Don Ramon” and getting the lines right. They also practiced their Hindu dance at home in the evenings. This was a huge blessing for Carol while she was taking care of the kids; it really gave them something to focus on. We go out early in the morning to water the landscaping and just before dark to let the kids run around before they go in for their showers. Thanks to several of our friends we are developing a network of swimming pools to go to on the weekends or evenings. We have 2-3 weeks before the older girls go back to school so we’ll be swimming as much as we can.
TIA IS BACK!!!! Lupita returned on the 29th of July. She had a great time but she confessed she “missed her kids” much of the time. She had a good time with her family, especially her 87 yr old Papa. Like most people though, she needed to rest from her vacation when she got home.
It has been a hot summer and as soon as August came around it has been over 100* everyday, but thankfully not too humid. The bad part about this is having to run the AC. It is on all day & night in the living room & kitchen and the bedrooms at night. We’re holding our breath for the next month’s bill. Since we are charged a commercial rate, last month was over $300 and we only used the AC ½ of the time. We have talked with everyone in charge and there is NO discount for anyone for electricity. We are also going to be buying the every year uniforms and school supplies. We’ve been blessed with people helping with some of the supplies but the uniforms and shoes are something we have to buy again. We are blessed to have you helping us help the girls.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tires for FUN!

Summer has arrived and the girls are enjoying their vacation. With a generous donation from 2 friends here in San Felipe we have enrolled the two older girls in a program put on by the Municipality in the new library. Daily they have an art class, drama and music. These are all things that these two excel at.

We have also added to our playground with a donation of used tractor and truck tires from El Dorado HOA and a local llantera, Llantera Aguilar. We had paint left from the swing set and it gives the girls another part to help with exercise and coordination. It also makes a great landmark when giving directions, the locals are gawking as they drive by. I think we are the only ones with a playground like this in the area.

All of the girls will be going to see Dr. Jason Arias Corpus, a local dentist who is giving Casa de Fe and another Casa Hogar from Valle de Trinidad a deal on cleaning all of their teeth and evaluating what other work needs to be done. We know 3 girls have small cavities and that the oldest, Perla, will need braces to help with her teeth.

Our house Tia, Lupita Perez, has taken three weeks to go to a family reunion/ Quinceanera in the state of Mexico. We originally thought it was for 1-2 weeks but by the time things solidified it was 3 weeks. On the trip to her house last Friday she was saying how she felt like she was leaving her kids behind and almost didn’t go. We feel good that she is going to enjoy her family and are enjoying being with the girls, especially Carol. Thanks to our friends here in San Felipe for helping fill the gaps when Bill has to go to Mexicali.

This is our most expensive time of year with the power for the AC and extra water keeping the landscaping going. If you can, any donation you can make would be appreciated. Also, if you can help us expand our circle of friends it would really be appreciated. The larger the circle of support the less each of us needs to help. We are working everyday make our home more efficient, but some things can’t be changed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Starting and Finishing Projects

We are fortunate to have our renowned artist friend, Louis Cogley, do some extraordinary murals in the living room of Casa de Fe. Because Louis is so busy it is a work in progress but it's a true blessing to see the work in different stages of completion and the finished product is beautiful.

We are finishing our swing set and playground. The original design was approved and funds donated by the Lions Club of San Felipe. Upon closer planning for the use of 8 children the playground equipment was expanded to accommodate more children than the pre-made set would accommodate. Additional improvement materials were supplemented by Home Depot. The other photo is of the bird feeders the girls made and painted.

We were blessed by a food donation from Lion’s Club of $1000
credit for food at La Vaquita III market. This is such a better way for donations to be made in that everyone knows exactly what their donations are being used for. We are also receiving food donations from people leaving town for the summer. Many people don’t want to leave food sitting in a hot house for 3-5 months they are gone and it greatly supplements our food budget when they donate it to us. We are blessed with your support and cannot thank you enough for your donations.

This week it seems that summer has arrived and we are now in the season for air conditioning.
Our electric bill will triple by August, making this our most important expense. We ask that you help us by talking with your families and friends to expand our circle of support. If everyone could let us know about 5 people who would like to follow our progress and offer support it would help us more than you can imagine. If we can get out to enough people it will be easy for people to help us with $15 - $50 dollars and have that accumulate to cover our expenses.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cars - Family - English

We finally have a vehicle that will hold all the children and Tia Lupita. We were lucky to find an older Suburban that works really well for taking the kids to school but more importantly we can all go safely to church or the beach and everyone can have a seat with a seatbelt.

In order to cut costs Carol & Bill are working 2 days/week to save costs from an additional house Tia. DIF wants family interaction and it works well to do this. We frequently have meals together like a family and can hear about the kid’s day and any challenges that may have arisen.

One of the older girls is taking English class with a scholarship supplied by the Rotary club. It requires her adding an extra hour to her day with her getting up at 5am every school day. Her school day is from 7am-12pm. We have a tutor come to the home 3 days a week to help the kids accelerate their learning. Neither of the older girls could read nor write well when they came here, and now Alejandra may be able to skip the 2nd grade with a special exam. They are now accepting that they really are smart girls. Since we speak both English and Spanish in the home Amanda is growing up being bilingual and the other girls and Carol are learning and speaking more English and Spanish all of the time. Bilingual volunteers will be greatly appreciated to work and play with kids during the summer.

We are looking for people to help us get out to a larger group. If you would like us to come and talk with your church or service organization please let us know and we will be happy to see you.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Casa de Fe Update

After being approved by DIF for the State of Baja in April, 2010 we received our first 3 kids on Nov. 3, 2010, ages 4, 7 & 8. They were with us for a couple of weeks when our 2yr old was brought to us. She had never been with a family and was very angry and confused about being with us not knowing what was going to happen. Now they are all sisters and are getting along as normal sister do.

Our primary house Tia left after 2 weeks due to schedule conflicts which left us with a huge gap in assistance. Carol worked at the home 24/7 for 2 ½ months before we found Guadalupe (Lupita) Perez and she was through the approval process. Though she had worked in Casa Hogars in central Mexico for the last 10 years she still had to go through this DIF office approval before she could be alone with the children overnight.

We go to a Mexican church every Sunday and the girls have bible study in the evenings with Lupita. Often they will tell us about the different bible stories and verses they are learning.

We are asked all of the time what people can donate to help us out the most. The donations of clothes and toys have been overwhelming and we are blessed to have local businessmen who have been donating to our food budget and sanitation services. Our biggest need is to have donations of money or the availability of fundraisers for the monthly expenses that cannot be covered by material donations; such as propane, electricity and water.

We are also looking for volunteers to help with care and cleaning at Casa de Fe and would love to have some bi-lingual ladies interested.